Sunday, July 14, 2013


The two countries of Batataland and Matarstan were at war. Declarations of war had been exchanged and a neutral third party had confirmed the lack of any typos in the said declarations.


A small boy in Batataland was watching the news. The bored reporter was reading out from her screen while munching on a samosa - "In other news, Batataland and Matarstan have once again declared war on each other over the contents of a samosa"
"Dad, who invented the samosa?"
His father was busy checking his email on his tablet. He looked up briefly at his son. "The great Rohini invented it at the dawn of the current century. She was the first one to deep fry a golden brown dumpling of pure awesomeness stuffed with tasty potatoes"
"But Wikipedia says..."
"Screw Wikipedia. Your dad knows better." 
Samosas were only stuffed with potatoes in Batataland. An immigrant from the East had tried setting up a food truck to sell different kinds of samosas but he couldn't survive the boycott. Word went around that people did not tolerate anything other than potatoes in their samosas. Back to the East went the poor guy. 


A couple of friends were drinking tea at a cafe in Pohabad, the capital of Matarstan.
"So I am thinking of going to Harley's to check out the final battle. What do you think?" 
"I prefer Gustav's. Harley's has a rougher crowd." 
A third friend joined them.
"John, are you joining us for the grand finale?" 
"What finale? Oh, the stupid war you guys have on." 
"Stupid?! Don't you dare say that." 
"Well, back where I am from, people fight with real weapons. Not with samosas on a food reality tv show. What's the deal with peas vs potatoes anyway?" 
"Lower your voice John. People take offense easily in Pohabad."
"Alright alright. So it's a cooking contest the two countries right?"
"Yes. Each country sends it's top samosa chefs. We have a series of contests and the best from each country face each other in the finale. And of course, our samosas are only stuffed with peas"
"And in Batataland they only use potatoes?" asked an inquisitive John. 
"Why not stuff them with both peas and potatoes?"
"That would be sacrilege! If you weren't from the East I would have insulted you right now." 
"But I don't understand this. Who invented the samosa anyway?" 
"The Samosa was invented by Anita a few decades back when she went camping in the woods. She came across a pea farm and at once decided to bake this perfect pyramidical dumpling stuffed with fried peas. It's a story we learn as kids."
"Uh huh. She went camping and cooked samosas. Makes sense. The samosas in this cafe are pretty good."
"This cafe is run by a direct descendant of Anita. That is why the samosas are so good. Feel the texture of this one - it is as if God himself made it." 
"Hmm. About this 'war' of yours...who are the judges?" 
"The judges are from South Sudan. They are an impartial third party."
"You Matarstanis are crazy. "

The finale

Gustav's was packed for the finale. It would feature the best warrior from each country. There were inquisitive journalists from all over the world here to cover this new kind of warfare. Modern warfare they called it. Huge flat screen monitors adorned the walls of the pub as patrons gossiped away while munching on snacks. Amidst the numerous mundane commercials was one made by the leading food company for a product called the Samosatron - a machine that automated the process of making samosas. It claimed to make 120 samosas per minute. Of course Gustav's being old school only served hand made ones.

And the time had come! 

Both the contestants entered the stage. After a bout of introductions and singing of national anthems the judges entered the fray slowly. The candidate from Batataland was this guy in his twenties named Haroukh. The one from Matarstan was a girl from the hinterland called Fatima.

The MC announced the rules of the war. Each participant would get half an hour to make a samosa. The judges would decide the winner. The winning state would get exclusive rights for selling samosas to the rest of the world for a year. Such was the scale of the samosa industry that the event was broadcast on television all over the world. The media made the typical allegations of the war being waged to distract the populace from the rising inflation - at the end of the day, it was the samosa mafia who made the rules anyway.

Haroukh and Fatima made their samosas and handed them over to the judges. Each samosa respected the sentiments of their respective cultures - one without peas and the other without potatoes. The judges went away to their private room. Haroukh and Fatima stood in two corners of the stage sipping on some wine and looking here and there nervously. The judges came out and handed a sheet of paper to the MC. The MC couldn't believe what he was reading.
"The judges have decided that it is a draw. Neither samosa is better than the other."
A hush descended upon the audience at Gustav's.
Haroukh and Fatima walked across the stage towards each other. There was a short burst of whispers and then they ran to the kitchen and got themselves busy. The audience didn't know what was going on. This was the first war which had ended in a stalemate in the history of the two states. The MC exchanged a brief word with the warriors and turned back facing the audience with a stoned look on his face. 

The audience could see the Haroukh and Fatima working together in the kitchen. What was going on? A few minutes later they presented the judges with a single samosa. Once again, the judges went away to their private chambers.

The audience was getting impatient now. 
"Come on! It's about time. We gotta go home you now".

The judges waddled out gracefully. The MC conferred with them. He went across to Haroukh and Fatima. One hand with each of them, he brought them in front of the audience and spoke.
"Haroukh and Fatima have done what was impossible. They have made a samosa with both peas and potatoes. The judges have decided to champion this samosa. This calls for a new age! Victory to both Matarstan and Batataland! The war is over!"

The audience went mad. Some cried, some laughed. Fights broke out in Gustav's.  The moon shone bright and white in the sky. 


Anonymous said...


Ashish Shakya said...

itne weird khayaal kahaan se laata hai?